Welcome to my 2-minute guide to the best sim racing cockpit.
Before we start, I just want to mention this is the chair I have in my lounge right now (yeah, in my lounge).
This is a cheap rig, but don’t let the price fool you.
If you’re having a tough time deciding between a Playseat and an Openwheeler, hopefully my 6-month review is going to shed some light on which one is best. I’m using the standard OpenWheeler, but remember, the OpenWheeler Gen 2 is now available.
So, is the Openwheeler the best Playseat alternative?
Let’s find out.
The first thing you’ll notice, is that the Openwheeler racing chair is pretty-cheap.
It’s down there with the low-end Playseat driving chairs. So, if you have your heart set on a Playseat, you’ll have the budget.
But, before you go ahead and buy a Playseat, I’d keep reading…
I spend pretty-much all my time on F1. I bought this at the back-end of F1 2016, and have been using it on F1 2017 since.
What I found with the Playseats, is the chair is mounted too high.
Not just for F1 games – for all driving and racing games.
The only exception is the official F1 racing cockpit from Playseat, but that’s like $1,000, and I’m a cheap-skate.
Any race car is low to the ground, but the standard Playseat cockpits aren’t.
So, straight away the big different between a Playseat and the Openwheeler?
The Openwheeler is almost 1ft lower to the ground; and I like that!
Design is very similar between all the best sim racing cockpit brands. Essentially, it’s a bucket seat mounted on a steel frame.
Not many people agree, but I think it looks pretty-cool in my lounge ?
I’ve dropped some serious hours on F1 since I bought a PS4 and the Openwheeler chair. It’s always been comfortable.
In fact, it was so comfortable that I thought the foam might start degrading.
I wasn’t sure it would support my 100s of hours racing.
So far, so good!
Wheel, Pedal & Shifter Mounts
The mounts on the Openwheeler are super-stable.
Racing Wheel Mounts
As you can see in the picture, there’s a sturdy looking wheel stand that’s included in the purchase price.
I’ve got a bog-standard Logitech G29 and it bolts on perfectly.
It’s a flat metal panel, so pretty-much any wheel is going to bolt straight on there with ease (Thrustmaster etc).
Everyone that’s used my pedals seems to knock them off the mount, as I have nothing holding them in place. I don’t, so it’s left as is.
Openwheeler provide a Velcro strap to secure your pedals, so they’ll be no problems there.
As I mainly play on F1, I don’t actually use any shifter mounts.
But, if you’re playing racing games on Xbox, PS4 or PC that use a shifter – no drama – you can mount the shifter on either side of the racing cockpit.
This might look like a full size seat for adults, but it can be used by everyone; including kids.
You can adjust:
- Distance to pedals
- Distance to wheel
- Height of wheel
And, for those that want to stash it away in a cupboard, you can slide in the main mount so it’s compact enough to fit!
Wherever there’s a mount or bolted connection, there’s a chance of instability.
But, once you crank up everything tight, you’re good to go.
I’ve not tightened any nut or bolt, or had to remount my wheel since I bought it.
And, that’s even after punching the wheel a few times after crashing into walls. 🙂
Dismantling The Cockpit
I leave my sim racing cockpit together, and it’s got a front-row seat in the lounge.
But, I appreciate that’s not going to be the case for everyone.
If you need to move it, you have a few options:
- Wheel it to wherever you’re storing it as is; there are wheels below where the pedals are mounted.
- Remove the seat section so you have two easy-to-move pieces.
- Remove the seat, then remove the section where the steering wheel goes; so three pieces.
Whichever way you choose to dismantle the Openwheeler cockpit, you won’t need any tools.
The bolts have a knob on the end and you just twist those to unbolt sections of your racing cockpit.
If you’re looking to dismantle all three sections, it shouldn’t take any longer than 60-seconds.
If it does. You’re slow!
If you’ve been contemplating buying a racing sim chair for a while, you’ll probably have seen the reviews for the Openwheeler.
In fact, it’s the quality of the reviews that drew me to this chair in the first place. There are over 100 positive reviews online right now.
Openwheeler Cockpit Review Verdict
In my opinion, this is by far the best sim racing cockpit for the money.
I’ve been more than happy with my Openwheeler over the last 6 months.
It’s reasonably priced, comfortable and stable when racing.
And, for those that need to store it away until your next gaming session, it’s easy to dismantle.
Given it’s lower to the ground and that makes it feel more realistic, I’d definitely pick this over a Playseat.
Thanks for reading my 2-minute guide to the best sim racing cockpit.
Decided a sim racing cockpit isn’t for you? Check out our guide to gaming recliners.